Which is the biggest teaching?

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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby Will » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:57 pm

Astus wrote:Will, what I meant is that matching the teachings to the recipients' minds it becomes not just claiming that X doctrine is the best, but it adds a personal insult to it.


Do you really think that the IQ scale or intelligence is the main factor that leads Buddha to target his teachings to "recipients' minds"? Does high intelligence = wisdom?
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby Astus » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:44 pm

Will wrote:Do you really think that the IQ scale or intelligence is the main factor that leads Buddha to target his teachings to "recipients' minds"? Does high intelligence = wisdom?


First, I don't equate IQ with intelligence, nor intelligence with wisdom. Second, being open to higher teachings is usually defined by one's karmic disposition, and only on a second level by one's wisdom and thirdly by intelligence. On the other hand, it is unlikely that somebody with a lower than average intelligence could study the Dharma in depth.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby Will » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:56 pm

Astus: it is unlikely that somebody with a lower than average intelligence could study the Dharma in depth.


Quite so, but we can practice sutra recitation, mantra recitation, copying sutras, meditate on sutra or shastra passages, increase virtues & reduce vices etc. In depth Dharma study is not required or even useful for most practitioners. What is needed is devotion, regularity of practice, increased purity of living, and if karma permits, a good knowing advisor.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby catmoon » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:38 pm

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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby Mr. G » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:03 pm

    The phenomenon of temporarily treating one great Bodhisattva as preeminent in this way, apparently at the expense of the prestige of other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, is entirely in keeping with Indian religions convention. In the vedic hymns, for instance, whichever god is being praised is always treated, in that instance, as the greatest god of them all

    - Alexander Studholme - "The Origins of Om Manipadme Hum"
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:39 pm

Astus wrote:On the other hand, it is unlikely that somebody with a lower than average intelligence could study the Dharma in depth.
Ouch!!! On a number of levels:
1. The realisation of ones Buddha nature is independent of intelligence, but merely a matter of sentience.
2. Studying Dharma without realisation is a complete and utter waste of time!
3. Realisation through practice is more likely, than realisation through study (albeit that study is a form of practice).
4. Within the mantrayana the "feeling" associated with a practice is more important than the thoughts about the practice.
5. Study can easily lead to conceptualisation, a hug obstacle to realisation!
6. And what of faith my dear Astus? Who do you reckon has a higher "chance" of recognising Amitabha during the bardo of death? Someone that has chanted Namo Amitofu with full faith during their lives or somebody that has studied the various intellectual nuances and history of the development of the Amitabha practice?
7. There are more which I am sure will come to me now that I am off to practice! :smile:
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby Astus » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:59 pm

I specifically said "study the Dharma in depth", and I really meant study. There are of course many practices that does not require one to know anything about the teachings, or only the bare essentials related to that specific practice. It is no coincidence that devotional methods are what generally taught to the masses, because it is something easy to follow. And I'm not saying here that such practices are pointless or misguided. There are also many stories where people who followed simple devotional methods displayed miraculous things in their lives or even after their deaths. But if we consider those who transmitted the teachings to the next generation and had long term influence within a school or an area, they were people of great intelligence and solid education, and usually advantageous social background. Of course, realisation does not require studying the scriptures, nor does it require practising meditation, nevertheless, besides legendary saints, outstanding teachers always had both knowledge and experience. And that includes even Pure Land teachers.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby catmoon » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:07 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Astus wrote:On the other hand, it is unlikely that somebody with a lower than average intelligence could study the Dharma in depth.
Ouch!!! On a number of levels:
1. The realisation of ones Buddha nature is independent of intelligence, but merely a matter of sentience.
2. Studying Dharma without realisation is a complete and utter waste of time!
3. Realisation through practice is more likely, than realisation through study (albeit that study is a form of practice).
4. Within the mantrayana the "feeling" associated with a practice is more important than the thoughts about the practice.
5. Study can easily lead to conceptualisation, a hug obstacle to realisation!
6. And what of faith my dear Astus? Who do you reckon has a higher "chance" of recognising Amitabha during the bardo of death? Someone that has chanted Namo Amitofu with full faith during their lives or somebody that has studied the various intellectual nuances and history of the development of the Amitabha practice?
7. There are more which I am sure will come to me now that I am off to practice! :smile:
:namaste:


I think yer both right. A person with an impaired mind can only study a little, can only learn a little. BUT there is no limit on their practice, attainments, or compassion. Those can be developed infinitely. Thus, the Dharma is fully open to the brain damaged, the mentally ill, Greeks, the uneducated, and alcoholics. No restrictions. All can develop.
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:27 pm

catmoon wrote:...Greeks...
Dude, when my ancestors were practicing Buddhism yours were still beating each other over the head with wooden cudgels and waiting for the Romans to bring them a written alphabet and numerical system! :tongue:
uuuurgghhh!.jpg
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"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:45 pm

And I won't even mention your feline predecessors!
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"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby catmoon » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:16 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
catmoon wrote:...Greeks...
Dude, when my ancestors were practicing Buddhism yours were still beating each other over the head with wooden cudgels and waiting for the Romans to bring them a written alphabet and numerical system! :tongue:


romans... romans.... oh yes I remember them. Irritating fellows, we had to beat the crap out of them and kick them out of the country. Seemed to think they owned it for some reason. I assume your ancestors had to do the same?

I mean, like if you ignore the First Macedonian War, which wasn't really against Greece, you know, and the Second Macedonian War, where the Greeks got pulped, and the Seleucid War, where the Greeks, with the help of powerful allies, got pulped, and the brave rebellion of the Third Macedonian War, where the Greeks got pulped, and the gigantic eruption of nationalist indignation and noble pride, which was the Fourth Macedonian War (in which the Greeks got pulped), well if you set that aside, the Greeks did quite well against the Romans, don't you think?

Of course you must have eventually gotten the upper hand and thrown them out cuz they aren't there anymore.

Oh wait, i forgot, the Muslims did that. I think the Greeks got pulped in the process too. No wonder they are so angry about everything.

Anyhow, this quite silly and off topic, and we should return to the original topic. Oh, wait, damn, the original topic was just a silly as this one. Never mind.
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby daelm » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:48 pm

Nosta wrote:I know that some of the issues raised by my question were discussed on other topics, but i still dont get certaing things.

First, let me put the question: is there a better teaching and/or sutra than all the others? If you read Lotus Sutra for example (i toke this info from wikipedia): Chapter ten ".. Medicine King, now I say to you, I have preached various sutras, and among those sutras the Lotus is foremost!"

Chapter fourteen states:

"Among the sutras, it holds the highest place."


Now, reading the sutras regarding Amitabha/Sukkhavati, one may find thats the most important thing that Buddha taught. Seeking inside other sutras, probably you may find similar things, etc.

I know that there are 84000 Dharmas, etc, etc and that Buddha taught thousands of dharmas so everybody can choose the best practice to him/herself, etc, but if thats true, why the need to say "That sutra is the best, sutra xyz is the foremost, etc"? That will make people like me get confused? Wasnt better to say "All the sutras are good, choose the one that fits best on your life"?

Thanks



the most important teaching is that liberation is real and possible. it pervades all systems and transcends arguments about this sutra and that text. without understanding that teaching every other is meaningless.

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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:52 pm

catmoon wrote:romans... romans.... oh yes I remember them. Irritating fellows, we had to beat the crap out of them and kick them out of the country. Seemed to think they owned it for some reason. I assume your ancestors had to do the same?

I mean, like if you ignore the First Macedonian War, which wasn't really against Greece, you know, and the Second Macedonian War, where the Greeks got pulped, and the Seleucid War, where the Greeks, with the help of powerful allies, got pulped, and the brave rebellion of the Third Macedonian War, where the Greeks got pulped, and the gigantic eruption of nationalist indignation and noble pride, which was the Fourth Macedonian War (in which the Greeks got pulped), well if you set that aside, the Greeks did quite well against the Romans, don't you think?

Of course you must have eventually gotten the upper hand and thrown them out cuz they aren't there anymore.

Oh wait, i forgot, the Muslims did that. I think the Greeks got pulped in the process too. No wonder they are so angry about everything.

Anyhow, this quite silly and off topic, and we should return to the original topic. Oh, wait, damn, the original topic was just a silly as this one. Never mind.
Step on your tails did I?
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"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby catmoon » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:23 am

gregkavarnos wrote:Step on your tail did I?


Nope. Just an opportunity for comedy which I could not let slip by. You not laughing? Always so serious dem Greeks.
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:47 am

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Seriously comic or comically serious? :tongue:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby muni » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:34 pm

biggest? The releasing one liberates. Liberating reveals the process of release!
Holding on apprehended concepts not.


"Guarding knowledge is not a good way to understand. Understanding means to throw away your knowledge. You have to be able to transcend your knowledge the way people climb a ladder. If you are on the fifth step of a ladder and think that you are very high, there is no hope for you to climb to the sixth. The technique is to release. The Buddhist way of understanding is always letting go of our views and knowledge in order to transcend". Thich Nhat Hanh.
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:14 pm

In a teaching from Lama Yeshe
Lord Buddha himself exhorted his students not to get attached to his teachings: "If I give you this teaching, promise me that you won't get attached to it." Can you imagine? Lord Buddha's teachings are incredible, his methods are universal, but still we should not get attached to them. He even said that we should not get attached to enlightenment, nirvana, or inner freedom; we should practice without attachment.


So is there really a "biggest" teaching other than non-attachment?

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby Aura » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:11 am

The biggest teaching
is always the teaching
that one truly has not yet learned!
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby Quiet Heart » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:28 am

:smile:
If you mean "What is the best teaching?"", here's a story dealing with that idea.

Once a rich man had to go on a long trip leaving his family alone while he was gone. Being worried about his family while he was gone, he asked his servant to take special care of their health while he was away. His servant promised hin he would do that.
After a few months, as the rich man was coming home, he saw his servant running down the road toward him.
"Master", his servant said, "I am very sorry, but I have failed your trust. Some kind of a fever has afected your family. I fear they have all gone crazy with that fever."
"What is the effects of this strange fever?', the rich man asked.
"Well", said the servant, "each person in your family seems to be affected differently. Your wife for example. thinks only of jewels and gold. All day she counts her gold coins again and again. Your eldest daughter, on the other hand, dreams only of romance...she thinks only of love all day. Your children only want to play with their toys all day...they will not go to school and study their lessons. Each person in your house seems to be affected differently by this strange fever."
"But have you had the doctor there?", the rich man asked.
"Yes, I have", said the servant, "and the doctor has said it is all the same fever, just affecting them all differently. The doctor gave me medicine to give to your family....but they will not take it to cure themselves."
"Then let me see what I can do", said the rich man.
So when he arrived home, he first took the medicine to his wife. Knowing she was obsessed with gold, he told her that the medicine would make her rich if she took it. She took the medicine, and soon was cured.
Then he went to his eldest daughter, who thought only of love. He told her that the medicine would bring her true love. She took it, and she was also cured.
In the same way he cured his children by telling them that the nedicine was like a toy that they would enjoy playing with.
When they were all cured his family thanked him for bringing them that particular medicine that was made exactly for them...to cure their particular fever.
The rich man never told them his secret...that the medicine each one took was exacttly the same medcine...and only because their perception was wrong due to their fever...did they believe that each medicine was different and specifically designed for them.
Of course, once they took that medicine, no mater for whatever reason they took it, they lost their fever...and then they saw clearly.

And that is the story of the "best teaching".
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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Re: Which is the biggest teaching?

Postby Nosta » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:01 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
catmoon wrote:.
Step on your tails did I?
greeks.jpg



I really hope that Greece can survive to the new Monster: Germany Government.
We, the weak ones, must join the hands against such powerful countries seeking more and more power even if that means giving a shot (so to say) to the people.

But we in Portugal cannot complain: people seems to act like sheeps! At least in Greece you give the hell of a fight!
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